Against a backdrop of declining numbers of self-employed people since 2019 (a decrease of 800,000), a report published by IPSE on National Freelancers Day reveals many positives about this way of working:
- Almost two-fifths of employees (39%) reported that they have considered working for themselves;
- A third of employees (33%) believe that they could make more money working for themselves;
- Most employees (72%) believe that the contribution that the self-employed make to the UK economy is either fairly or very positive.
Notably, the most common perception of freelancers amongst employees was of hard-working and driven individuals that are brave to work for themselves and forego employment rights and job security. Previous IPSE research found that the solo self-employed workforce contributes an estimated £303 billion to the UK economy per year.
Interestingly, those currently employed in media, marketing, advertising, PR and sales (57%) and construction (47%) are the most likely to have considered making the move across to self-employment. Moreover, the research found that men are more likely than women to envisage themselves becoming self-employed in the future (30% compared to 25% respectively).
When breaking down the reasons why employees are interested in becoming a freelancer, the research found that the main factor was flexibility (49%), followed by being their boss (48%) and an improved work-life balance (48%). In addition, the research found that over three in 10 employees (33%) believe that they could make more money working for themselves.
Despite the government appearing to perceive the opposite, only 6% of respondents referred to some advantage of the tax system or an impression that self-employed people pay less tax.